May 1, 2004

Please test the proposed NewsForge layout change

Author: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller

We've been doing a little behind-the-scenes work on the NewsForge main page layout. If you're a logged-in user, we'd like your comments on the proposed changes, and if you don't have a NewsForge login it only takes a few seconds to create one so that you, too, can take a look at our latest experiment.A long time ago, the default NewsForge layout had two text columns, with the NewsVac links alongside feature stories. We're planning to return to that format. Right now we have it under test. You can see the test version by logging in, clicking on your login name where it appears at the right side of the masthead, selecting "Homepage," and clicking the "2 Column format" and "Dynamic Site layout" buttons. Then click "Save" and return to the home page. You'll see the new proposed layout.

We may be able to talk our bosses into having one or two fewer ad positions on most NewsForge pages, but the site will continue to have advertising, so suggesting we stop running ads (or that we should refuse ads from certain companies) is futile. Advertising pays the bills, and we pay writers for original material (unlike some sites that cover Linux and open source), so instead of complaining about advertising, please accept it as part of the landscape. (And who knows? You might even learn about some useful products or services from some of the ads.)

Feedback wanted

Our current plan is to make the "Two Column Dynamic" site template the default everyone sees as soon as we've tested that template for a few more days to make sure it works correctly. Do you think this is a good idea, or do you prefer the current single-column default?

Do you have any other suggestions on how we might improve NewsForge? We promise to read every one that gets posted, and to respond to as many as we can.

Robin 'Roblimo' Miller
Editor in Chief


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